Though a bill to force a slowdown on the implementation of the Texas Integrated Eligibility Redesign System (TIERS) died in committee, the rollout will be slowed down after all. From the Quorum Report:
Sen. Bob Deuell (R-Greenville) just amended a House bill on state online transactions to slow the implementation of the Texas Integrated Eligibility and Redesign System until the software is fully tested. TIERS, a software platform that integrates welfare eligibility enrollment, has been plagued with problems during its lengthy pilot phase in the Austin-San Marcos area.
Deuell added his amendment to House Bill 2048, which was carried by Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) in the Senate. A bill by Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin) on the subject stalled in a House committee, possibly due to its fiscal not. No TIERS implementation could be interpreted to mean no call centers, a major cost-cutting measure for the Health and Human Services Commission. To sidestep this issue, Deuell’s amendment continues with the rollout of the call centers – intended to cut thousands off the payroll of HHSC – but requires those centers to use non-TIERS enrollment measures until TIERS is fully tested.
Social service agencies have opposed the full implementation of TIERS, fearful that the software has not been fully tested and, improperly implemented, could lead to welfare enrollees without proper benefits. Colorado has been faced with similar problems with its own software program.